BAL rat­ing now on­line

Australian Forests and Timber - - FRONT PAGE -

A NEW WoodSo­lu­tions cal­cu­la­tor can give you a quick and easy way to cal­cu­late your build­ing site bush­fire at­tack level on­line.

The Bush­fire At­tack Level (BAL) of a build­ing site is de­ter­mined by us­ing Aus­tralian Stan­dard AS3959. The BAL rat­ing has im­pli­ca­tions for both the de­sign of a build­ing and the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of ma­te­ri­als. With the new WoodSo­lu­tions cal­cu­la­tor you can quickly cal­cu­late the BAL rat­ing and then see how chang­ing vari­ables – such as the build­ing lo­ca­tion on the site – af­fects the BAL.

The Bush­fire At­tack Level (BAL) of any lo­ca­tion on a build­ing site de­pends on fac­tors in­clud­ing the site slope, the dis­tance from veg­e­ta­tion and the type of veg­e­ta­tion. Aus­tralian Stan­dard AS3959 pro­vides in­for­ma­tion and method­ol­ogy to cal­cu­late the BAL of a home and spec­i­fies the con­struc­tion and/or retrofitting re­quire­ments.

The new WoodSo­lu­tions BAL cal­cu­la­tor is based on the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided in AS3959 and gives home own­ers, ar­chi­tects, build­ing de­sign­ers, de­vel­op­ers and oth­ers a con­ve­nient way of es­ti­mat­ing the BAL with­out hav­ing to man­u­ally look up ta­bles.

Vari­ables such as the site slope can be en­tered ac­cu­rately, not to the near­est 5º, and then changed so that you can im­me­di­ately see the ef­fect on the BAL.

“The BAL cal­cu­la­tor will en­able home builders, ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers to see how dif­fer­ent place­ments or ori­en­ta­tions of a home on a site can change the BAL,” said Boris Iskra, Na­tional Man­ager Codes and Stan­dards at For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Aus­tralia Lim­ited, the in­dus­try body re­sourc­ing WoodSo­lu­tions.

How­ever, Boris did point out that the WoodSo­lu­tions BAL cal­cu­la­tor, while shown to be very ac­cu­rate in test­ing, should be used as a pre­lim­i­nary de­sign guide with fi­nal BAL cal­cu­la­tions con­firmed with the Aus­tralian Stan­dard.

The WoodSo­lu­tions BAL cal­cu­la­tor is avail­able on­line at: https://www.woodso­lu­ Ar­ti­cles/Re­sources/BAL-Bush­fireCal­cu­la­tor-V1

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